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Associate Professor of Theatre: Playwriting
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Ingrid De Sanctis currently teaches playwriting and acting at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, VA.  After receiving her MFA from University of North Carolina at Greensboro she taught at Eastern Mennonite University, Clemson University, and Bloomsburg University before landing at JMU.  Ms. De Sanctis’ career has been focused on and committed to new work and supporting playwrights in their development process.  While at Clemson University she received a Faculty of Excellence Award. She was also recognized as a Teacher of Distinction in the College of Visual and Performing Arts in 2019-2020 at JMU. Her playwriting students have had their ten-minute plays workshopped at KCACTF Region 2 and Region 4, and KCACTF Nationals.  Currently she is the Director of the New Play Development Workshop and producer of ten-minute play readings at the annual ATHE conferences.  

As a playwright she creates edgy, challenging plays on such topics as refugees in the Balkans (Torba), survivors of violent crime (A Body in Motion), and a young woman living with—not dying from---cancer (Sarah and the Dinosaur). Much of her work centers around theatre of social change.  While teaching classes at University of Central Florida in 2006-2007, she worked with undocumented teenagers exploring their stories through poetry and spoken word.  Following 9/11 she created a play with inner city youth entitled WhaChaGonnaDu?.  The play A Body in Motion was developed through interviews and transcripts from the book Transcending by Howard Zehr and told the story of survivors of violence.  Funded by the Pennsylvania Prison Society and Victim Advocate organizations the play toured prisons and communities in Pennsylvania.  Her productions of Torba and Anonymous were invited to KCACTF Regional Festivals where she has served as a director for ten minute and one act plays for NPP since 2016.

Most recently Ms. De Sanctis has been awarded two Provost Grants at JMU to complete two full length plays, Hands of Clay and Walls.  She has directed for Pegasus Lab at University Central Florida, numerous collaborations with Ted and Company, Madison New Work Laboratory at JMU and the Comparative Drama Conference.  In the summer of 2016, she collaborated with composer Andrew Morrissey on the musical Lost in Wonderland developed by Pallas Theatre and this past year completed two full length plays Hands of Clay and Stained Glass.  In April of 2018 her new work Stained Glass was produced at James Madison University and then at Dayton University in the fall of 2019 and awarded Best New Play in Dayton in 2020.  Her plays, Torba and Stained Glass were semifinalists for the Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Festival (2007 and 2019). Her latest play, Walls, written in collaboration with JMU alum Paul Holland, premiered at JMU in January 2020 and was option/purchased for potential film and television development.  In the summer of 2022, she was part of the development process in Marfa, Texas for Last Rights by Mark Charney and Cory Norman, under the direction of James Kerr.  In collaboration the Rose Theatre  in DC, you will find her work on the podcast, The Rose Rhapsody.  In February 2022, she will be acting in the solo adaptation of her full length play, Stained Glass, will premiere at Eastern Mennonite University. She continues to work as an actor, director and playwright pursuing projects that reflect stories of transformation and grace, and will perform in basements, churches, theatres--anywhere a good play will make a big difference.

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